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Maniac


Published 1934


A failed actor, after killing the mad scientist he works for, decides to take over the scientist's life and continue his work.

You can find out more about this movie on its IMDB page.

There is an AVI of the movie here.


Run time 50:56
Producer Dwain Esper
Production Company Roadshow Attractions Inc.
Audio/Visual sound, black and white

Reviews

Reviewer: Robbmeister X - - November 8, 2013
Subject: Sublimely Bad
This surreally incompetent, bizarre mess of a film is the funniest piece of moviemaking I've seen where the humour is not intentional. Every single scene is so mindbogglingly awful that it wasn't one single moment as such, but a cumulative effect of bad acting, made up on the spot storytelling, dreadful photography and inane script that made me cry with hysterics after twenty minutes. The stock images repeated for no reason most people would think of are from Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages. They are a symbol of mental instability, given Haxan's clinical view of so-called supernatural manifestations, but they're still a very strange fit.

You've got to love the woman, right after the death of the scientist, not noticing the dead body on the floor. Or how about the cat that loses an eye but you can still see its real one when the glass eye is picked up? The 5 stars are for entertainment value, though the film objectively deserves one. Contains the worst undead transformation I've witnessed. With its beautiful women in underwear or topless, and its cat getting an eyeball scooped, surprisingly daring for its time, but this is one of those occasions where its director might have thought he had nothing to lose.
Reviewer: BiffWellington - - August 29, 2013
Subject: Underrated Genius!
I personally think most people are looking at this film all wrong. I first saw this when I was 19. That was only 10 years ago mind you. & it blew my mind! I was just getting into horror, something I originally thought was a genre chopped up with bad slasher series. Then I was starting to understand horror I stumbled across Maniac. It was a film from 1934 (just one year prior to all of those decency laws in film )but it truly embodied exploitative horror. Most see it as a comedic film but I see it as an early masterpiece in horror. This is one of many films that got me into a genre that I can't live without today & I must insist that you watch it today. look for BiffWellington on IMDB.
Reviewer: spadeneal - - June 1, 2013
Subject: Not Same Diller, No Censorship Required
The Phyllis Diller here is an actress who was born in 1897 and is not the same as the familiar comedienne. Films like these were distributed on the States' Rights market and were subject to local censorship boards. Some would ban it outright and others cut it to bits, but if the picture was an adults only roadshow feature running without a certificate -- which this was -- then the board might not even look at it, other to determine that it was not obscene, which "Maniac" isn't.
Reviewer: Dr Feel Rotten - - December 16, 2010
Subject: Phyllis Diller was in this one as Mrs Buckley
Nobody seems to have noticed the opening credits I guess..Her comedy was a whole lot better than her acting in this one and she got skinnier too. I nodded a bit during the cat fight so i didn't notice if there was any Diller boobage..Now THAT would have made it a REAL horror flick! The real horror in this movie was the acting and the droning on guessing about psychology, but it might have been the origins of the so well known screaming, hysterically laughing mad scientist..Muhahahaha
Reviewer: BoloResartus - - December 16, 2010
Subject: Son of Re-animator
This is an absolutely hilarious epic.
The whole beginning is priceless movie magic.
If you don't do anything else watch it up to
the girl twitching back to life, for a rare
comedy style horror.
Reviewer: EJEFFREY - - December 4, 2010
Subject: Bare Breasted Scene
It's the "Hays Office" that cleared major stidio films but since this was an independent cheapie there was no need for such clearance. Of course a great majority of U.S. theaters would never touch a film without a seal of approval.
Reviewer: gl1200phil - - December 4, 2010
Subject: First Slasher Flick ?
Interesting old flick. Often claimed to be first "slasher" flick. Compared to the "prudery" of fifties, multiple bare breast scenes interesting. Make note of how when actor impersonates mad scientist, the actor actually impersonates mad scientist and does great job of make up to look like him. Usually in flicks like this, they just use original actor to play impersonated actor, as opposed to having genuine impersonation. Very transparently phony pretense of mental illness for exploitation film. Historically interesting, cinematically disjointed and some seemingly unrelated scenes and poor continuity. As being allegedly first of the "slasher" genre, I'm going to rate this one or two star flick generously at three stars. Fun for those into exploitation flicks, "historical" and one of the first.
Reviewer: nigeldavahah - - December 30, 2009
Subject: nice
nice
Reviewer: pramydue - - July 9, 2008
Subject: How did this get past the Hayes Commission???
Bare breasts??? (27:30 and later) Not unheard of in its day, but quite surprising in this combination of Abnormal Psych 101 primer and bad 30's horror flick. Interesting...
Reviewer: flickfdude - - May 14, 2008
Subject: weird
An interestin old time movie.
Funny situations.
A lesson in abnormal psychology.
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